Thursday, February 23

The Perfect Spring Is Waiting Somewhere.

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The CDP is taking a mini-vacation to the Twin Cities, and will return early next week.

Where are we going, you might ask? Well, the haunted Bed and Breakfast where me and the Missus got married is calling our names, and who are we not to answer? I mean, really, who are we? We're looking forward to a few days of rest, relaxation, a psychic reading, ghosts by the truckload and the Mall of America, in that exact order. It'll also be nice to get away from the neighbors for a while. Who knows? Maybe when we come back, she'll finally be pregnant. The neighbor, I mean. Not the Missus.

There will be no Lost Friday this week, as they showed a re-airing of the two-hour pilot episode. I'll be back next week with photos and witty banter; along with ghost stories, a brand new Lost Friday and the assorted goodness you've come to expect here at the CDP. I'm actually just taking this vacation to gather new material.

Until then, fill up the comments section with random chatter, and take care of the place while I'm gone. See you soon.

Wednesday, February 22

Man Your Battle Stations.

The following post has once again been rated:
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For sexual content and dialogue. Please make it all stop, I beg of you.

Loud Neighbor Update - Part IV:
'A New Hope.'

If you're just catching up on the ongoing, wide-awake nightmare that is my loud neighbors, let me get you all squared away. I have neighbors who like to get loud in the bedroom, and I don't mean by playing Scattergories, yo. Exceedingly loud. FAA citation loud. If you want to start from the beginning (which I recommend), you can read PART ONE, PART TWO and PART THREE right here. I can wait; I've got nothing but time.

Ready to continue? Splendid!

Approximately two days after the neighbors (presumably) received the 'shut the hell up' note from the leasing office, we saddled back up in the bedroom to see if we could finally attempt a decent night's sleep. We had assumed they should have gotten the point by now, after putting on such a show for the last two months. I was getting some writing done that night, so the Missus went to bed a little bit before me. I tucked her in, smooched her forehead and clicked off the light switch.

No less than five minutes later, I heard her come out of the bedroom.

"I can hear them," she called upstairs to me.

"Damn it," I muttered under my breath. "Are they as loud as they usually are?"


"I mean, are they making an effort to be more quiet?"

"What? No!"

"Damn it. Honey, I really don't know what to do. I guess we can give them another day and check again with the leasing office."

"Well, I need to get some sleep. Goodnight."


She closed the bedroom door, and three seconds later I heard the unmistakable sound of the Missus slamming her fist feverishly on the bedroom wall. It had finally happened. We were making our voices heard.

"I'M SICK OF THEIR CRAP!" She yelled.

Upstairs, I cringed. I honestly felt some sympathy for the neighbors. After all, it would appear like they are trying (and failing) to get pregnant, and that can't be a good thing. That being said, this 24-hour a day freak show can't continue on any longer. They've firmly ignored two cease-and-desist letters now, including one sent by the leasing office. After the Missus' tirade, I didn't hear them again for the rest of the night.

She showed them. For now.

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"Yeah, baby! This post is Tony Little approved! You can do it!"

Over the next few nights, it was tolerable, but not pleasurable. You could tell that they were making a conscious effort to (sometimes) tone down the exclamations and whatnot, but we could still hear everything. The main problem is the wall that separates us. I mean, we can hear them just talking through the damn thing, so there's nothing they can do in that bedroom that's going to go unnoticed by us when we're directly on the other side. The same goes for us pertaining to them. It's a real pain, considering the leasing office told us the walls were 'soundproof'. Bull roar!

We honestly thought about moving. We thought about turning the downstairs bedroom into the new rumpus room, and moving our bedroom goods up to the loft.

All of this sounded like far too much work, however, so we put in some earplugs and turned the fan on full blast.

So, here we are. Sleeping with earplugs in. We keep the bedroom door closed to keep the cats out, which in turn, leaves all the heat out. Keep in mind that it's currently 15 below outside, and we now have a running fan to deal with. I don't know how long I can keep this deaf, shivering charade up, but it's a good quick fix for now. Also, if the house starts on fire, I know I'll just sleep right though it.

We're starting to come to the harsh realization that these two bedrooms are always going to be linked and paper-thin. I like to consider ourselves good neighbors, doing what we can not to annoy them like they have annoyed us, and once they have this baby, we're thinking the 24-hour party people will finally give it a rest for a spell. It's not the solution I wanted. Hell, it's not the solution you wanted, but as long as the Missus gets her 8 hours in, I'm a happy guy.


That all being said, this matter is far from over. These people are continuing to bother us, so if we just plain get sick of masking the noise, we're going to march right over there and confront them face-to-face. We also plan on audio recording the goings-on; heck, we have a lot of weapons at our disposal. They have no idea what we can do to them.

You might want to stick around. We're down, but we're far from out. That battle is just beginning.

What would you do? Sound off in the comments section, and draw up a plan with me.

Tuesday, February 21

Subbin' It Up.

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(Yes, this entire post is about sub sandwiches. Sure, it's humorous and informative enough, but I'll understand if you want to skip it. Please don't, though. I'd be just shattered.)

I love subs about as much as legally possible. Believe me, the law is not flexible on these things.

I'd eat them 3 meals a day if I could survive the lethal strain it would put on my heart. For my money, they are as close to perfect as food can be. You have great tasting, soft bread (Garlic Herb is my favorite), a thick, artery-sludging inch of heavy mayo, expertly sliced cheeses of your choice, fresh shredded lettuce and crisp, red onions to top off this most wondrous creation. As I don't eat meat, that's all I take in my sub, and it's all I will ever need to be truly happy.

I could go for one right now. In fact, I'll be right back. Hang on a minute.

Okay. As I was saying, sub sandwiches make me happy. However, because they cost money and aren't good for me at all the way I like them, I've been restraining myself to only one per work week for lunch. The remaining four days, I'm stuck with frozen pasta or macaroni and cheese. Believe you me, I look forward to 'sub day' like I look forward to payday.

In Madison, we have approximately 68 million different sub franchises. Cousins, Subway, Blimpie, Milio's (formerly Big Mike's), Sub's Ahoy!, Yellow Submarine, Tubby's Subs, Sub-Machine, Rub-A-Dub-Subs, George Michael's Sub Machine; the list goes on forever (I might have made the last few up, I can't remember). It's one of the reasons I'm never moving, along with the fact that my wife and cats live here. This abundance of sandwich goodness makes them all very hard to resist, but it has given me a great cross-section to sample and rate. I've been to every sub shack in this fine city, and have become a pro when it comes to the beautiful dance that is sandwich creation and consumption.

I'm offering today's post as a public service announcement to other fellow sub lovers. Heed my words, I'm about to make your next sub experience worlds more enjoyable.

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Let's get right down to it. When it comes to the bottom-of-the-barrel, lowest common denominator, absolute worst sub franchise in America, Subway wins this contest, hands-down. It may be the biggest and baddest franchise in the nation, but overall, they can't hold a greasy candle to anyone else in the game.

For starters, their portions are out of touch. They're still sticking with the tried-and-true 6 and 12-inch styles. For the same price, you can get a 7 and 14-inch sub at Cousins or an 8 and 16-inch sub at Milio's (a Dane county staple). That's an extra 4 inches for free! That should be enough right there to send you elsewhere. I've been known to cross state lines just to get the sandwich I happen to be craving at the time.

Secondly, they have the worst customer service I have ever seen (not to mention, the ugliest store design on earth). Every single time I walk into a Subway, I'm instantly reminded of why I should never go there again, and feel like I'm about to be shot in the back of the head.

For some reason, Subway always seems to hire one of two types of terrible employees.

The first type is the attitude and angst-ridden high schooler. This young boy or girl hates their job so much that they refuse to even look at you during the course of the entire transaction. They talk openly about hating their job, even as they make your sandwich, and will take frequent breaks to do other things during the process. Because of their lack of eye contact, you'll need to tell them what you want on your sandwich a half-dozen times, and they'll still get it wrong. Eventually, they'll spot a friend of theirs, and spend the next five minutes talking to them while your lunch slowly spoils behind the sneeze-guard. For the time it takes them to construct this ragged masterpiece, I could have jumped behind the counter, killed everyone wearing an apron and still made the sandwich faster.

That's another thing I can't stand about Subway. The 'Sandwich Artist' buttons those employees have to wear. It's not an art form to put edible things in between bread for the purpose of consumption. Besides, I have never been handed a sub that made me want to place it behind a velvet rope for viewing. At least, not one from Subway.

The second type of employee is the attitude and angst-ridden middle-ager. Clearly, I'm not being judgemental concerning age here, because the young and old can equally suck at making my sandwiches. This specific type of person makes your sandwich with such staggering contempt and apathy, you think they're going to slit your throat or pass out, whatever's easier for them at the time. They don't even try to hide the fact that they hate you with the flaming intensity of a thousand suns.

It never fails. I'll walk into a Subway, and a 6 foot 4, 600 pound Sandwich Artist will stand there with her hands on her hips, looking at me as if I wasn't wearing pants. Head cocked, eyes wide open, just counting down the seconds in her head until she can take her break and never see me again.

"What you want?"

"Um, a foot-long, please. Just lettuce, cheese and mayo."

(She's not making eye contact with me, therefore she's not hearing a damn word I'm saying.)


"Um...just lettuce, cheese and mayo. Foot-long, please."

(At this point, she starts constructing my 6-inch sandwich. Without even looking up at me...)


"Yes, lettuce."

"You want cheese?"

"Yes, please."

"6 inch?"

"No, a foot-long, please."

(At this point, she looks up at me like I somehow made a mistake that completely and utterly destroyed her day. Now angry at me for supposedly changing my mind about the length of my sandwich, she exhales loudly and starts over.)

"Want sprouts?"

"No, thank you. Just lettuce, cheese and mayo."

(Another heavy exhale. The phone rings, and as she walks away to answer it, knocks my entire half-made sub into the vat of sprouts. Later, she pretends it didn't happen, seemingly forgetting that the barrier between the two of us is made of glass. I say nothing, for fear she will yell at me. I'm running late as is.)

"What else?"

"What? Nothing, thank you."

It is at this point where she wraps my sandwich up in paper, but realizes that she put way too much lettuce in it to close properly. Instead of rectifying the situation, she just flattens the sandwich temporarily and wraps it up as quickly as possible, essentially spring-loading the damn thing to surprise me later. When I take it back to the office to enjoy, I notice that the sub package is all but vibrating with pressure, waiting to explode all over me. All it takes is for me to put a slight tear into the side of the paper for the entire sandwich to come sproinging out like a worm-filled can of novelty peanuts. Lettuce and mayo covers my important documents and newspaper. Thanks, Subway.

It should be mentioned that everything I just said has happened to me at one point or another.

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Look, it's not all bad, though. Mainly because every other sub joint in the city is amazing. Cousins is my favorite.

Why? Because they hire ex-convicts.

Former inmates make good sandwiches because they don't want to go back to jail. They put far more pride into their work than teenagers, and understand efficiency and assembly-line ethic from their prison and factory experience. They were tailor-made to make sandwiches for a living.

They always call me 'sir,' and talk nice and loud. They're usually missing a tooth or two, so they whistle when they talk.

"Isss that all, sssssir?"

"Yup, that'll do it, thanks."

"Sssssix sssssixteen, sssssir! You wanna reccccceipt?"


They really shine when it comes down to the science of a sandwich. They are quick-draw ninjas with the condiments, and keep the mayo in a holster.

"Ex-ssssstra mayo, sssssir?"


(He then pulls a bottle of mayo from the holster in his side-pocket, twirls it three times and splorts it liberally onto my Garlic Herb bread before twirling it again and placing it back in its chamber. It's usually at this point when I place a dollar or two in the tip jar. It's worth it, because I didn't just get a sub, I got a show!)

Speaking of which, should you tip at fast food places? Some people think not, because they aren't doing the normal tasks of a waiter at a restaurant. Personally, I tip when they do a good job. For example, if I go to a place so many times that they know my order by heart, that just earned them an extra dollar. way to go!

In conclusion, I don't like Subway. Sub sandwiches rule; you might want to consider eating one for lunch or dinner today. Tell 'em the CDP sent you; they probably know who I am. Sound off in the comments section, and tell me what you like on your sub.

Monday, February 20

Very Emergency.

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How do you cope? Sound off in the comments section, and enjoy your Monday.

Before you go, I've got some hardware to hand out.

Image hosting by Photobucket This week's Commie Award is being given to the entire United States Olympic Team. They're receiving this award mainly because it's the only accolade they're going to be getting this time around.

Every two years, I can always look forward to the inevitable choke that is the US Olympic Team. Thank you for once again not letting me down. Enjoy your award, and make sure everyone gets to spend a night alone with it, crying and wondering where it all went so very wrong.

Okay, now you can leave. See you tomorrow.